Google shares transition plans for unified desktop file syncing Drive app


Backup & Sync will no longer be available from October 1st

Google announced its plans to move users of its consumer file syncing desktop service, Backup & Sync, to a new integrated app that both consumer and business customers can use a drive called Drive for Desktop. Google is planning to launch Onboarding users next week July 19, 2021, and encourages people using Backup & Sync to make the switch by the end of September, before locking out on October 1.

Backup & Sync users will have to transition to the new app (a modified version Google’s enterprise file syncing software), but business clients that are already using Drive File Stream (aka Drive for Desktop) should be good to go, Google says. The goal of Consolidating Apps, Google says, is to create “a powerful and unified sync client” that should be simple to use and easy for IT teams to manage, with the best features of both consumer and enterprise services. Notably, it’s also a reversal of Google’s confusing decision in 2017 to split Google Drive into two apps on the desktop.

Google’s new Drive for desktop client
Image: Google

According to google blog post Explaining the desktop Drive client, the app should be very familiar to anyone who’s used Google’s previous services. Drive will provide easy access to files and photos stored in the cloud, and sync whatever files you choose to in the background so they’re always up to date. Google says the app can sync external storage devices such as flash drives to Drive, mirror files between the Drive and local files on your desktop computer, and lets you choose how you want different photos and images to be. Whether you store the video in Drive or Google Photos.

Google will begin converting users of Backup & Sync next Monday, July 19. Here’s the following transition timeline for users from Google:

July 19, 2021: Backup and Sync will support a guided flow to help users transition from desktop to disk

August 18, 2021: Any users who are still on Backup & Sync will start receiving in-product notifications prompting them to transition to Disk for desktop.

October 1, 2021: Any user will no longer be able to sign in to Backup & Sync after that point on Backup & Sync. To continue syncing with Drive and/or Google Photos, users must transition to Drive for desktop.

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